On an average day in BC 44 vehicles are stolen*. This means that over 15,000 British Columbians each year find themselves victims of auto theft. In the event your car is stolen, you should immediately contact the police with the following information:
- License plate number
- Approximate time of theft
- Witnesses (if any)
Following your report to the police, your next contact should be to your insurance company.
Preventative measures, however, could prevent this tragedy from ever happening.
Some tips to consider:
- Install an anti-theft device
- Never leave the keys in the vehicle, or the vehicle running, while unattended.
- Keep doors locked at all times, and windows up.
- Never store valuables or packages in plain sight.
- Have your VIN etched into windows and other parts of your car, making resell on the black market more difficult.
- Engrave your stereo and other on-board valuables with your driver's license number.
- When parking on the street, turn your wheels, use your emergency brake, and park between other cars (making it harder for a thief to tow).
- Avoid parking in long-term lots if at all possible.
- Park in a safe, well-lit, or well-traveled area at night.
- Avoid parking behind fences or hedges.
- At home, light your driveway all night. Elsewhere, park in well-lit areas near pedestrian traffic.
- After opening an automatic gate to underground parking, watch out for thieves waiting to slip inside. Wait for the gate to close behind you.
- If you see any suspicious person or activity near a vehicle, call the police immediately.
*Based on claims reported to ICBC in 2007.